tonight on "nightline," palin for president? we journey to alaska for a rare one-on-one with the controversial conservative, who has american politics hanging on her every maybe. robin roberts sits down with sarah palin. >> oh, my goodness. that's -- i don't think anybody's ever asked me that before. quack hunt. "nightline" heads into one of india's largest slums to investigate the so-called doctors defrauding some of the world's most vulnerable children. and, cold coyote. a four-legged fisherman ends up in a tight spot today. and we zoom in on the volunteer effort to save her. >> announcer: from the global rell sources of abc news, with
terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city this is "nightline," december 17th, 2010. >> good evening, thanks for joining us. there is no more electrifying and polarizing figure in american politics today. sarah palin demands the attention of so many, her husband and small children draw more google searches than the rest of the republican field combined. long out of office, she still manages to alter national discussions with a single tweet. but can this heat last all the way to 20123? tonight, abc's rob by roberts heads to alaska to spend time with palin, talk about how far she's come and what might be next. >> go straight, ride fast. >> reporter: in her new book, "america by heart," sarah palin writes that the three pillars of her political philosophy is family, faith and flag, in that order. >> let me drive! >> reporter: here in the
wilderness, on a snow mobile with her daughter piper, you get the family part. palin seems truly in her element. my first time on the palin property in wasilla, yeah, i just had to ask. where's russia? >> i told you, it's not that far away. >> reporter: where? >> and not to get political on you, it's why we need a strong missile defense system. turn this car around. >> reporter: sar rar palin is certainly enjoying herself these days. she energized crowds rallying for tea party candidates. and then, supported her daughter bristol on "dancing with the stars." and even now, starring in her own reality show, "sarah palin's alaska." >> pull! dang it. >> reporter: along the way, she's evolved an identity that goes something like this. sarah palin, the celebrity politician who is just like us.
the question is whether it's working for her. new poll out showing that if the election were held today and you were the republican candidate, president obama was the democratic, that he would win by 22 points. you understand that a lot of gop members are concerned about you having the nomination because of polls like this. when you see numbers like that, and you know that is a feeling, among even the gop, how do you respond? >> well, speaking of competition, that's what competitive primaries are all about. you're out there debating your ideas and getting your message across and you're talking about your record and setting the record straight and you talk about your intentions for this country. i'm all for contested primaries. so, a poll number like that is like, yeah, that doesn't look really pretty today, but a primary is months and months in the process and there are thankfully many debates and if you were to participate in that contested primary, i would be in it to win it.
>> reporter: and perhaps everything palin's done this year is part of a bigger strategy. she's penned that new book. an attempt, she says, to write down what she thinks america is all about. she's certainly been doing her homework. and comes to our interview, first in the details and very well prepared to take aim at the president. >> and he said, in fact, even on abc news in '09, on march 10th of '09 he said to abc news that he would be the one to reform the abuse of the earmark process. >> reporter: so, the big question. will she run for president? who knows. i don't think she even knows. but she's not afraid to. that is for sure. i don't know if you are heard this, but there's talk that you might run for president. i don't know if you heard that. it gets banters around. where are you in your thought process and decision making? >> it's a prayerful consideration, because obviously the sacrifices that have to be made in order to put yourself
forward in the name of public service -- it's brutal. so, my consideration is for my family, whether this would be good or not good for the family. whether it would be good or not good for the debate and the discourse in this country. and, just trying to get the lay of the land and see who else is out there who would be willing to make those sacrifices. >> reporter: but there has to be a time frame, doesn't there? >> well, yes, there has to be and i would say it's still months down the road though. other folks can jump in and that kind of helps you get that lay of the land, but my decision won't be made for some months still. >> reporter: last month, barbara walters sat down with president obama and asked him if he thought he could beat sarah palin in an election. >> mr. president. you will not tell me that you think you could beat sarah palin? >> what i'm saying is, i don't hit the about sarah palin. >> reporter: you mentioned him a time or two in your book, and he says he doesn't think of you. do you think he should?
>> oh, i -- not necessarily. you know, i -- i think that the values that i hold are shared by a lot of people, so if not me, he certainly should be listening to someone who maybe is not part of the belt way, is not part of either political machine, and i'm not. that's why the gop isn't real enname mored with me, those in the establishment. i've been fighting that establishment for the last 20 years because i'm not one to just go along to get along. that's why i have such heartburn watching the compromises in congress. come on, you guys, we expect you to do better. >> reporter: now with the house of representatives back in the hands of the republican majority, sarah palin has her own ideas on what's on everyone's mind. taxes. president obama has reached out to republicans for the tax cuts. taken a lot of heat from his own party. as it stands right now, this current tax bill, are you for it? >> you know, this is one case where i'm really thankful that the president flip-flopped and
he realized that, oh, yeah, the rich, 70% of the job creators are considered, i guess, the rich in this country, they will see an extension of the bush tax cuts which really means that they won't see the tax hikes that many people in congress had been perfectly fine in kind of cramming down those job creators throats had this not happened. i think there could have been a better deal struck. i would rather see congress just hold off on this, president obama, just hold off on this, let the new congress be seated and then let's do it right. >> reporter: you said flip-flop. he -- it's compromise. that's part of the thing that the american public has been saying. can't you get together? bipartisanship. the -- he will be accused, as you have done, as saying flip-flop. how can you reach compromise if you don't -- >> i would say, though, that it is a flip-flop in his position on -- because he was so adamant about not allowing the tax cut extension to take place for job
creators and then all of a sudden one day he was fine with it. so, again, i appreciate that he, you know, you can term it compromise, i term it flip-flop. i was thankful he did. >> reporter: she believes what she talks about has prepared her to run, if she decides to do so. and that the last two years have actually made her stronger. why she thinks that, when we come back. if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. with eight times better wear protection than mobil 1.
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there they were the squirm inducing tv interviews and tina fey's "i can see russia from my house" jokes. sarah palin's introduction to the national stage was rocky, but supporters say she's found her groove. after resigning the governorship of alaska, she tore up the campaign trail, published two books and started a tv show. and here she is, once again, with robin roberts. >> sarah palin of the great state of alaska. >> reporter: even sarah palin admits that she got off to a rough start two years ago. unprepared to be in the national spotlight. but two years later, that certainly seems to have changed. >> tea party americans, you're winning. you're winning. >> reporter: palin comes to our interview focused and very well prepared. as always, she seems unafraid to speak her mind. but now, she is more careful these days. and clearly came to this
interview knowing every word would be scrutinized. you come from virtually nowhere to being a power player. how in the world does that happen? >> well, let me tell you one thing that has changed. it's been tempting, once in awhile, to start guarding my conversation and start hesitating a little bit in calling it like i see it. and i've done that my entire life. but because every word that i speak is scrutinized and ultimately and in some corners of the world it gets mocked and ridiculed and spun into something that it is not, there has been the temptation to kind of pull back a little bit and maybe not be as candid. >> reporter: is that hard for you? >> i was going to say that it's -- it must not be that hard because i'm still doing it. that's why i'm always getting in trouble. >> reporter: in this last couple of years that has been a tremendous roller coaster, do you ever feel like you -- i can't take anymore? that you had reached a breaking point? >> not so much feeling that i
have reached a breaking point in the last couple of years that would ever make me want to stop. but there have been a few times where there have been reports out there that are accepted as truth and i know that they're not true. there have been times where we have seen reports where todd and i, we just throw up our hands, go, well, what can we say about it? and those get to be frustrating. >> reporter: what she focuses on is the message of family is very important to her, as is her marriage to her husband todd. you and todd have known each other since high school. got married 24, first child at 25. the statistics say you're not supposed to be together. and you do. how have you been able to -- >> we've been together for 30 years. we share the same values. many of the same interests. we have different personalities, that's for sure. but we have the same core beliefs. and that has allowed us to stay together happily for 22 years now. it certainly is good team effort
and that's what it takes, to, you know, raise a big family, a diverse family, quite full, quite boisterous, too. lots of activities going on. it's been certainly necessary to be a team. >> reporter: she says she finds strength in each of her five children. five children. who is most like you? >> oh, my goodness. that's a great -- i don't think anybody's ever asked me that before. well, i think they all have a little bit of me in them. they're all very, very determined. and they all -- you know, when we talk about the criticisms, as we just talked about, i think in some ways their skin is even thicker than mine, certainly, at their age, where they are just like, you know, let's keep working, mom. so, they have that in them. i don't know which one individually, though, would be most like me. they're -- i don't know. >> reporter: that's a true mom. you can't --
>> yeah. >> reporter: this is robin roberts for "nightline" in wasilla, alaska. >> sarah palin's new book is in stores now. and our thanks to robin roberts for that report. up next, we head into one of india's largest slums to investigate an epidemic of fake doctors who may be abetting the investigate an epidemic of fake doctors who may be abetting the spread of an epidemic illness. owowowowowow ♪ [ male announcer ] an everyday moment can turn romantic anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. ♪ cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications, and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> we turn now to some of the most adorable and vulnerable children anywhere. and the brave souls trying to help them. our story unfolds in delhi, india, nearly 14 million people there and home of giant sprawling slums, woeful sanitation and a few opportunists making life even worse by spreading a disease that could have been conquered long ago. wading into it all to call them out tonight is the dan harris for the "be the change, save a life" abc initiative. >> reporter: there were trenches running, that's sewage? we are in one of india's immense slums, about to confront one of this country's thousands of
quacks, fake doctors. among the culprits in the re-emergence of a disease the world thought it wiped out. this girl has suffered needlessly. how old are you? 10? >> 12! 1-2. >> reporter: this all started when this child here in new delhi, whose parents scrape by doing menial labor at the small school where she studies, developed a fever should couldn't quick. do you remember when you first got sick? >> she says, when i was sick, i would not have the strength to talk. >> reporter: her mom and dad took her to this medal office, where this man, who calls himself a doctor, ordered lots of expensive and probably unnecessary tests including an ultrasound. over the course of several
weeks, her parents say they spent their entire savings and meanwhile, her health continues to deteriorate. this doctor took all of your money and didn't help your child, didn't diagnose her with a disease that she actually had. she says when their money ran out the so-called doctor simply sent them away to a free government hospital where she finally got the correct diagnosis. tuberculosis. a lethal and highly contagious disease, spread with just a cough. >> she feels terrible that, you know, she says, all the money is gone and she feels terrible about it. >> reporter: so, we went to confront the so-called doctor, who, as it turns out, does not have a medical degree, though he claims to have a degree in traditional indian medicine. do you deny that a young girl came to you who was very sick, very poor and you took her family's money until they ran out of money, allowing her to
get even sicker in the process and affect other people in the process, and then when you were done taking their money, you just sent her off to a government hospital. >> he says that he goes to the extent to helping poor patients to a point, where he sometimes paying for their tests out of his own pocket. >> reporter: so, you think this guy is probably a bit of a fraud? >> not a bit of a fraud. >> reporter: a real fraud. >> unfortunately, yes. >> reporter: our translator is actually an activist. his name is sandeep, and he runs something called operation asha, operation hope. he's taking on the quacks who set up their shops sometimes just feet away from each other. this is where you treat your patients? the patient lies down here? as you are about to see, india's epidemic of quackery is fuelling
a larger epidemic of tuberculosis, which is filling this country's sick worlds and threatened to kill this young girl. check this out, there are some mind boggling statisics when it comes to tb. there are about 2 million new cases every year. about a half million people die of the disease every year. that's two people every three minutes. the disease carries with it a nasty stigma. about 100,000 women every year are kicked out of their home for having tb. and, about 300,000 kids are kicked out of their school because they have tb, or because they are simply too sick to attend class. so, how are the quacks making the tb up dimmic worse? because, even when they diagnose is disease correctly, they often just hand the patients drugs without supervision. drugs that are readily and cheaply available right on the street here. so, i don't need a prescription? i don't need anything from a doctor? >> i can give you without a
doctor -- >> reporter: without a prescription. that's pretty incredible. because in the united states if you wanted to buy this, you would need -- >> oh, yes. >> reporter: the fact you can get this for 30 cents, this is fueling all of these unlicensed physicians out there, right? >> of course. of course. >> reporter: hello. some of the storefront quacks we met don't even seem to realize the dangers of not supervisiting the drugs that tb patients take. the sign says dr. khan, but sandeep says this man has no medical degree. khan says he sends patients-sents of having tb to the hospital, but sandeep is skeptical. you think this guy understands he's making people sicker and he doesn't care, he's just doing it for the money? >> i think he's just doing it for money. >> reporter: are you aware that if you have give somebody who has tb some drugs and they don't finish the course of the drugs, that they could become resistant to further drugs and get even more sick? and make other people even more
sick. do you understand that that's a possibility? >> he says he didn't know about it yet, but now he does. >> reporter: but now, here's the twist. sandeep and operation asha have come up with a rather elegant sclugs to this. they are taking the very people who used to make patients sicker and training them and incentivizing them to actual liqueur patients like the young girl. and all of this is remarkably cheap. if you give asha just $25 that will pay for one patient's entire course of treatment. it's incredibly cheap. $25 and i can save somebody's life? >> yes. pree si precisely. incredible, but true. >> reporter: and every time a patient is cured, it's a big step to choking off a dangerous epidemic. >> dan? >> reporter: dan. she's just weeks away from being totally cured and she's looking forward to continuing school and
living a long and healthy life. can i have a high five? do you know how to do that? all right. for "nightline" this is dan harris in new delhi. >> be the change, save a life, is supported in part by the bill and melinda gates foundation. for more information on how you can help, you can go to abcnews.com or saveone.net. our thanks to dan harris for that. when we come back, an all hands animal rescue. but first, here's what's up next with jimmy kimmel. >> jimmy: tonight, larry king, kate bosworth and comedian greg fitzsimmo fitzsimmons. it's going to be best hanukkah ever. "jimmy kimmel live" is next. ♪ i'm gonna get it, i know i'm gonna get it. ♪ ♪ i can't wait ♪ every little step, brings me closer to the gift. can't be late. ♪ ♪ rip it open in a second and it's time to play. ♪ ♪ i was up all night in anticipation feeling electric jewels of jubilation. ♪ ♪ yule tide carols from the local congregation. ♪